Does Crime Increase Over the Holidays?

crime increase over the holidays - hooded person using crowbar to force open a door

Does Crime Increase Over the Holidays?

The first thought that may come to mind when you think about the correlation of crime and the holidays is the Christmas Classic, Home Alone. While Hollywood glammed up the storyline, holiday thievery is a reality. It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and unfortunately, it’s also a time of the year to be on alert. While some crime stays steady, the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas sees a marked increase in fraud, identity theft, robbery, and larceny. And if you live in Chandler, Tempe, Scottsdale or Phoenix, according to Fox 10 News, your police are ramping up their efforts to fight holiday crime.

Why Does Crime Increase Over the Holidays?

It’s not just a coincidence that crime rates spike over the holidays. Statistics from law enforcement offices as well as psychological studies both point to factual evidence and probable cause for this upsurge in lawbreaking. Here are a few of the main reasons for increased crime over the holidays.

Time Off

Crime almost always experiences a hike when the masses have time off. For example, all year round crime rates are higher on Fridays and Saturdays. There’s also a certain level of increase in criminal activity over the summer due to school being out and family vacations. And the same is true of the holidays. People with time off often find themselves bored and looking for something to pass the time. In addition, the number of people away from their homes visiting family or on vacation makes burglary and robbery more appealing.

The Season of Giving

It’s ironic that the season of giving would also be the season of taking, but the two go hand in hand around the holidays. With people either feeling desperate to give gifts to the ones they love, or feeling opportunistic as they see the hustle and bustle of material wealth, the holidays are the perfect time to commit a crime. Packed stores make shoplifting more difficult to detect. And an abundance of credit card use and cash withdrawals encourage theft and pickpocketing.

Stress and Depression

We’re all aware the holidays can be a stressful time. And for some, they are also sad and lonely time. Both of these emotional states, stress and depression, increase the risk of perpetration and can be linked to higher crime rates.

Take Extra Precaution

Whatever the reason for an increase in crime over the holidays, our team at Coolidge Law Firm (serving Phoenix Arizona), encourages every citizen to be more mindful and alert during this season. If you are leaving town for the holiday, consider leaving a light on or setting timers for your lights. Double that check your doors and windows are locked whenever you leave the house. And be careful about flashing your credit card digits or cash in public. Stay out of harm’s way by planning ahead and being careful. And from our families to yours, we wish you the happiest and safest of holidays!  


Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (11/21/2018) Pixaby